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> Featured Community: Ennis
> Featured Community: Cody
> Featured Community: Livingston
> Featured Community: West Yellowstone
> Featured Community: Gardiner

Few would doubt that one of the greatest assets of Yellowstone Country is its people. Every region of the United States has its unique culture, and certainly the West is no different. Each culture is authentic and beautiful, of course we can trace certain layering of cultural phenomena and processes of globalization, you can read about all these processes at the best place to buy a research paper. As westerners, we have always taken great pride in our resourcefulness, independence, and connection to the land that we live and work upon. Yet even within the West, we have our own regions, which we, as citizens, particularly identify with—and those of us who call Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming home do so with great pride.

There is a long history of peoples in what we know today as Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and in the area we call Yellowstone Country. To date, 26 different tribes are associated with Yellowstone National Park and the lands surrounding this iconic place. For thousands of years, Yellowstone Country has been a place of significance to the Indian people of this region. Their ancestors remain vital members of the Yellowstone Country community today.

Though short in comparison, there is also a legacy throughout this region of ranching and working the land. Floyd “Doc” Carroll (the great-grandfather of Executive Director, Michael Leach) was born on a small cattle camp in Wyoming back in the 1800’s. He went on to become the youngest man to win the saddle bronc competition at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (“The Daddy of Them All”), and later became one of the first state veterinarians in Wyoming. After his death, he was inducted into the “Hall of Great Westerners” in Oklahoma City’s Cowboy Hall of Fame— alongside such legendary names as Sacajawea and Teddy Roosevelt. Doc is just one example of the cultural legacy we have here in Yellowstone Country, a legacy that places a great deal of importance on how we treat one another, and working together to better the lives of our families and our communities.

And now there is a new wave of people looking to call Yellowstone Country home and discover their new community. This is the beauty of Yellowstone Country. It draws people from all over the globe who all have a common interest in being part of something great.

The community is, at root, what Yellowstone Country is all about. Though the winged, finned and four legged inhabitants of this region are known all over the world, the future of the wildness and spirit of Yellowstone Country rests in the hands of its vast communities—Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Livingston, Cody, Ashton, Pinedale, Cooke City, and countless others. This is what Yellowstone Country Guardians is all about…the Yellowstone Country community.

Ennis, Montana
Home to the mighty Madison and its great abundance of wild trout, this quaint little Yellowstone Country community is a fly fishing destination for visitors from all over the globe. With its small-town feel, scenic location and western motif, Ennis is perhaps the region's "model" small town. For those only visiting this Class-C community during the summer months, it may seem as if Ennis is just another quiet Montana town, but pass through the beautifully decorated streets on a Friday or Saturday night during the winter months, when the high school's sunken gym is packed with hundreds of fans decked out in green, screaming and yelling for their beloved Mustangs, and a different story is told. While ranching remains an important part of the Ennis identity, at its heart, this is a fly-fishing community. Upon entering from the east on Highway 287, one will pass the famous sign that boasts of an astronomical amount of trout; while traveling into town from the west side leads directly to a famous statue of a fly fisherman with a wild and spirited trout on the end of his line. Unlike many of the smaller towns throughout Yellowstone Country that have a worn and battered feel to the buildings and streets, Ennis is alive with beautiful architecture. Charismatic trout statues adorn the sidewalks and businesses. Some have said that Ennis has more trout statues per capita than anywhere else in the world! So next time you are en route to Yellowstone, take a detour through one of Yellowstone Country's last best places!


Gardiner, Montana
The future of YCG and the success of our work are directly related to the communities we are striving to serve throughout Yellowstone Country. Therefore this section of Deep Roots is our opportunity to showcase one of the many communities that help to make Yellowstone Country whole. Although our efforts to nurture the wildness and spirit of Yellowstone Country will reach across the Yellowstone region, Gardiner, Montana, will always have a special place in the hearts of the YCG family, as this is where it all began. Home to the YCG office, Gardiner rests at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Gardiner is home to the mighty Bruins of Gardiner High and approximately 800 (give or take 100) year-round residents who relish the big skies and sunny days that are common in our desert basin. Gardiner is the only year-round entrance to YNP and its nearest blinking light is 30 miles up the road in Emigrant. The nearest stop light is 51 miles to the north in Livingston. If you are thinking of moving to Gardiner, it would be wise to visit us in winter to experience the constant barrage of wind, which is mild compared to what our neighbors up north in Livingston live with, but still enough to drive many would-be residents to the friendly confines of “town”—better known as Bozeman, Montana. Please give us a shout the next time you are passing through G-town!


Cody, Wyoming
This Yellowstone gateway community, which provides access to hundreds of thousands of visitors to Yellowstone National Park each year via the east entrance, has long been known as a symbol of the ?Wild West.? Named after the legendary Buffalo Bill Cody, the town of Cody?s history runs deep in this part of the Rocky Mountains. Charming for its old-time feel, Cody has something to offer just about every Yellowstone visitor. Though not as famous as the waters to the north, south and west of the park, the Shoshone River which courses through town and the rivers within a one hour drive prove to be some of the best trout streams in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Without the abundance of anglers and guides typical elsewhere, these rivers offer a natural and authentic Yellowstone fishing experience. If fishing isn?t your cup of tea, perhaps a thrilling whitewater adventure down the Bighorn River will spice up your Yellowstone adventure.

But Cody?s appeal extends far beyond its proximity to Yellowstone and abundance of fishing opportunities. This town of approximately 9,000 people on the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park is home to one of the best museums in the west. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center would be a treasure in any major western city, from Denver to Salt Lake, but its presence in Cody gives it a special allure. Don?t let the dusty and barren landscape east of Cody fool you, this gem of a community is truly a Rocky Mountain oasis that you will be happy you explored.


Livingston, Montana
Fifty-one miles north of Yellowstone National Park?s famous Roosevelt Arch rests YCG?s new headquarters and home base of Livingston, Montana--a key community in our efforts to nurture the wildness and spirit of Yellowstone Country.  Livingston is the perfect community for YCG, with its proximity to YNP, the surrounding wildlands, the Yellowstone River, abundance of youth yearning to be inspired, its history as a gateway to Yellowstone, and the gritty nature of this lively and spirited town-- all which speak to what YCG is all about.  While it is one of the windiest places in the West for eight months a year, locals will tell you: ?That just keeps the riff-raff out.?   There is a quiet charm about the first major town north of Yellowstone National Park.  Livingston has kept an appealing balance between the remoteness of Gardiner and the expanding metropolis of Bozeman.  The people are eclectic, smart, self-sufficient and, if they have lasted more than one blustery winter without going crazy, they can certainly boast of being rugged.

Much of our efforts in regard to our youth programs focus on the students at Park High?the Rangers.  These outstanding young people are an integral part of our River Guardian Fly Fishing School, Yellowstone Leadership Challenge and the YCG family.  Renowned across the globe for its fly fishing, Livingston is home to the famed waters of the Yellowstone, which flows along the edge of town.  I have often said that a town without a river running through it is somehow less alive than those blessed places with water coursing through their center.  Livingston represents both the old and new Montana, while retaining its rural character and artistic flavor.  So whether you are looking for a place to grab an outstanding meal (a plethora of local restaurants are available to fill the belly and warm the heart), a base-camp for your next fly fishing adventure, or simply a conversation amongst real folks who just happen to be artists, ranchers, outfitters, writers and entrepreneurs, then you won?t want to simply pass through Livingston.  You?ll want to stop and explore.  And tell them YCG sent you?

West Yellowstone, Montana
The future of YCG and the success of our work are directly related to the communities we are striving to serve throughout Yellowstone Country. Therefore this section of Deep Roots is our opportunity to showcase one of the many communities that help make Yellowstone Country whole. One cannot think of the Yellowstone community without thinking of West Yellowstone. As a young man growing up in North Idaho, we always made our annual pilgrimages to Yellowstone, and for us that always meant a stop in West Yellowstone, Montana. I will never forget the goose bumps I would get after driving through West and seeing the “Entering Yellowstone National Park” sign. Known to people from all over the world as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park and seen by many outsiders as simply a tourist town, West Yellowstone has a great deal more to offer. This gateway community is home to a thriving, young and energetic population of dedicated outdoorsmen and women, activists, and entrepreneurs. Home to the Wolverines of West Yellowstone High, whose student athletes excel on the hardwood and on the gridiron. With warm friendly people, numerous dining options, affordable lodging, countless fly shops, and its proximity to Yellowstone National Park, world-renowned fishing both inside and outside the park, Hebgen Lake and the Madison Valley, West Yellowstone is a favorite getaway for Yellowstone Country citizens and we certainly encourage everyone to explore this special community. Next time you pass through or visit West make sure to stop by Wild West Pizza for a slice of the best pizza Idaho, Montana or Wyoming has to offer and say hello to owners Megan (YCG board member) and Aaron Hecht!


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